Last week’s Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) conference had to have been the best event that CHCI has ever held. As if a visit by President Obama and the First Lady was not enough, luminaries such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, numerous Hispanic legislators, renowned journalists Soledad O’Brien and Maria Hinojosa, and stars such as Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez attended the gala to support CHCI’s educational initiatives.
The CHCI conference was an unprecedented demonstration that the Latino community is developing its own powerful presence among policymakers. Latinos and Latinas are also increasingly emerging as leaders in science and technology, a domain in which Latinos and other people of color have been traditionally underrepresented. CHCI honored one such Latina last week for her contributions in the area of green technology. Dr. Alicia Abella is Executive Director of AT&T’s Human Computer Interface Services Research Department, where she leads the development of technological innovations that help people collaborate at a distance and over time.
Dr. Abella received her Ph.D. and MS from Columbia University. She graduated from NYU with an undergraduate degree in computer science. In 2008 she became a member of the elite group of AT&T Science and Technology Medal award winners. She was also a recipient of the 2008 Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.
Dr. Abella not only excels in her field, she is committed to developing the careers of women and minority researchers. She serves as Vice President of the Young Science Achievers Program and chair of the AT&T Labs Fellowship Committee.
Congratulations, Dr. Alicia Abella, for your accomplishments.